Sunday, February 17, 2008

Hoping for Spring and Catching Up on Bloging

It has been a hectic couple of weeks and I have not found as much time to blog as I would have liked. So....on this very raining and fairly lazy Sunday afternoon I am sitting in front of the fireplace, (while the cool weather is still around) enjoying a delicious glass of pinot noir and catching up on updating the blog.

Our nephew Riley, here he is looking like such a big boy, is having surgery in the morning to correct his skull which has fused too early.

So several of our girlfriends have gotten together to make dinners for Max & Lindsey during the next week and a half or so to make life a bit easier for them while they care for Riley.

Tonight was my night, as they have several out of town guest in for the night to offer their support. Much of the weekend was spent cooking in preparation for a meal to feed a crowd. On the menu: Lasagna, Salad, & Lemon Vanilla Bundt Cake.

I made the cake Saturday, which I found in the March 2008 Everyday Food, I know this recipe is called Lemon Ginger Bundt Cake, but when I began to make it I went looking for the crystallized ginger I thought I had and could not find it, so in it's place I used the inside of a whole vanilla bean.

The batter came together nicely and was very thick.

It baked up beautifully golden in about an hour. I really like that there is no frosting on this cake, just a sprinkling of powdered sugar. Here is the cake before I cut it into slices, it made a lot., probably enough for 10-12 servings.

I did steal a little nibble this morning just to make sure it was good. I thought it was great, not too sweet and perfectly dense. Also very moist from the sour cream. I will make this one again for sure.

Then it was on to lasagna.....I love lasagna, actually I really love it, and people seem to like my recipe as I am asked to make it often. But I have to say it is a task, not because it is especially difficult, but because it takes a good bit of time and makes a mess of the kitchen. So I do not make it very a lot however, the end result is always worth it so I suppose I will quit complaining now...

What makes my lasagna different? I think it is the cheese, which I always grate myself rather than buying it pre-shredded. I use a mixture of Parmesan, Gouda, mozzarella, and cream cheese. The cream cheese really lends a richness that I think is wonderful. I also use ricotta which I mix with any assortment of fresh herbs, today I used parsley and basil, and a beaten egg. Here are the beginnings before I began layering.

I made the lasagna for Max & Lindsey in my roasting pan as they will have about 8 for dinner tonight and I wanted to make sure they had enough to go around.

Then the layering began, including the pan I made for Peter and I. He does not care for ricotta cheese and prefers hard boiled eggs in it's place......don't ask people, I just work here.....

As is common for me, I made too much and had enough ingredients left to make a 9x9 pan of for the Gilbertson's so we took it over to them, along with some of the cake this afternoon. As always it was great to see them. When we came in Presley asked Mr. Peter for a little girl to play with. She just welcomed her new baby brother and was asking for a baby sister, Jeremy & Traci told her that she would have to get with Peter and ask him to start working on that for her. Score one for Presley, I will have to remember to make her a special treat next time I see her, probably something with chocolate! :-) is everything ready to go to the "other" Kallos household. I missed seeing Riley when we dropped off the food because he was down for nap, but I did get to spend time with him last evening and kissed his sweet little head no less the a hundred times. I am hoping that the kisses and the food will bring a little joy, and also take some of the stress off before tomorrow morning.

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